Startup businesses continue to find creative ways to evolve rapidly and adapt to market changes with limited resources. They spend a great deal of time and effort researching innovative techniques, finding and testing the best management methods, and implementing the right tools for their teams.
32 percent of executives claim that choosing the right technologies is crucial to achieving future success and growth. Furthermore, 49 percent of executives believe that investing in technology and embracing digital transformation are key areas to focus on within the next three to five years.
The truth is that many medium-sized and enterprise-level businesses can learn from fast-growing startups that have successfully leveraged resources in cost-effective ways. Such ways allow them to spread out their already limited resources without sacrificing overall growth.
In this article, we will discuss the top five ways that your company can learn from fast-growing startups, companies as well as some actionable tips to take them to the next level.
5 Innovative Tips from Startups for Growing Companies
1. Streamline Communications
High-profile startups like GitLab, InVision, Zapier, Buffer, and Basecamp are choosing to build remote-first teams. The number of people working remotely in the United States has risen by nearly 80 percent between 2005 and 2012. And the trend continues to grow.
Streamlining communications includes internal communication with team members and external communication with clients, suppliers, and stakeholders. Businesses that don’t have a solid communication plan and tools to streamline it will struggle with growing and scaling.
Furthermore, the risks of miscommunication and misinterpretation can result in project delays. They can even hurt sales and customer relationships over the long term.
The good news is that you can keep the lines of communication open and even streamline communication across multiple channels and applications.
For the majority of companies, email remains the main source of external communications. With the right tools in hand, you can turn email into the teamwork hub. While bringing together internal and external communications, you can also let each team member work from a preferred platform, whether it’s Gmail, Slack, or Trello.
2. Minimize Resource Waste
Many larger businesses make the all-too-common mistake of wasting resources. Mainly time, money, tools, and even talent. Proper resource allocation is a common challenge among many businesses today.
Furthermore, many businesses purchase software or subscribe to the newest, shiniest platform or tool only to discover that communication and processes became more complicated rather than easier. Many businesses don’t end up using those tools to the full extent, which ends up being a waste of money.
Large companies can learn from fast-growing startups too. Let’s take Buffer, for example, the San Francisco-based social media analytics and scheduling services company. It’s a small tech startup with a remarkable open-book policy. It has published its financial data since its inception in 2010.
To cut costs, Buffer closed its offices and moved to a distributed workforce. While it still pays for co-working space for the employees that want it, it’s still a significant saving to a physical office.
Savings can be found throughout your business. For instance, before you sign up for the next latest and greatest software, consider your organizational goals. What are you trying to achieve?
Then, find the tools and resources that help you achieve those goals. In the easiest and most cost-effective way possible. Remember, tools and platforms are designed to help support your existing workflow. And not to find workarounds to fit the tool.
3. Build an Agile Culture
Many companies today—both small and large—are realizing the benefits of organizational agility. Building an agile organizational culture has proven to help improve collaboration, encourage design thinking, and spark innovation.
According to the State of Agile Report, the reasons cited for adopting an agile culture include accelerating software delivery, increased productivity, and a reduction in costs.
The adoption of an agile culture is the secret to adapting, evolving, and maintaining a competitive edge in today’s fast-paced market. And more and more companies of various shapes, sizes, scope, and industries are beginning to understand that.
Furthermore, 53 percent of executives claim that they are hyper-focused on building organizations that embrace change.
Building an agile culture involves adopting innovative techniques and practices. Specific standards will encourage and support collaboration, new ideas, creative thinking and problem-solving, adaptable work styles, and flexible work environments.
4. Break Down Silos
Silos are by-products of a working model far less cross-functional than today’s needs. The individual work structures pose many risks to companies, including increasing work, decreasing productivity, and even duplicating work efforts.
However, startups have worked to break down work silos. Instead of working individually, teams can work together on similar projects and initiatives, by adopting a more collaborative, agile work environment and atmosphere.
Cultivating a collaborative work environment can help ensure that all team members are aware of what others are working on. It can also help complete tasks and projects faster to grow further and even speed up the decision-making process.
Leveraging certain communication tools and project management platforms can allow companies to break down work silos and improve collaboration. Regular project iterations or “sprints” are also helpful.
5. Leverage Automation
Time is another limited resource for businesses. Therefore, any technique or tool that can be implemented to make performing tasks easier will help minimize the amount of resource waste.
The best way to do this is to build automation or leverage AI capabilities. Like those specific tasks and projects can function on “autopilot.” Taking a few minutes to set up automation to streamline certain tasks can save hours of time.
Leveraging automation can be a massive time-saver for companies. Automated tools can save team members time, reduce labor costs, reduce risks, increase efficiency and productivity, and reduce waste.
The good news is that automation-powered tools don’t require having a full-time tech department or a team of developers to implement and support.
For example, Gmelius offers a wide range of tools that can continue with other tools to help build automation. The tools are a way each member of a team can get work done without constantly switching from platform to platform to perform tasks.
Growth Is a Mindset
As an established business, you might have a plan for how to grow your company. However, it is likely that by learning from fast-growing startups there is some room for change that just might make growth much more achievable.
All in all, many small businesses and startups have gotten creative in how they manage teams, projects, and processes. It ensures that they extend all their resources as much as possible without incurring budget overruns.
Many have also adopted new leadership and management techniques to encourage high-level innovative thinking that allows them to further grow, scale, and reach their goals.